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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Book Club's LiveJournal:

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Monday, May 14th, 2007
9:07 pm
Nudge nugde
Now that school is out, it would be great to read a really good fiction and a really good non-fiction book. Any suggestions?

Current Mood: curious
Sunday, May 6th, 2007
10:18 pm
Monday, April 9th, 2007
10:15 am
still out there?
joyce has been very busy with school and work, and I haven't been on LJ as much, so our winter break has extended much longer than originally intended. Is anyone still out there? Are you interested in discussing some books? If so, please comment! It would be useful if you answered the following questions:

1. Are you currently in the mood for fiction or non-fiction?
2. Are there any titles you've been wanting to read/discuss? If so, please list them.
3. How much lead time do you need to acquire and read a book?


ps - Yes, I posted this last week. If you already responded there, don't worry. This is an attempt to catch people who might not have seen that first post. Apologies to those who are reading it twice.
Wednesday, April 4th, 2007
10:33 am
anyone out there?
tap tap tap...
Is this thing on?

joyce has been very busy with school and work, and I haven't been on LJ as much, so our winter break has extended much longer than originally intended. Is anyone still out there? Are you interested in discussing some books? If so, please comment! It would be useful if you answered the following questions:

1. Are you currently in the mood for fiction or non-fiction?
2. Are there any titles you've been wanting to read/discuss? If so, please list them.
3. How much lead time do you need to acquire and read a book?


ps - I'll re-post this in a few days to try to catch anyone who doesn't see it this time around. Apologies in advance to those of you who will therefore read it twice.
Sunday, October 29th, 2006
10:27 am
[admin] an official announcement
Dearest fellow readers,

This is the formal announcement that joyce & I are, in fact, taking a break from the book club.


Participation has been low, which limits conversation, which makes things less interesting, which lowers participation. This is obviously something of a downward spiral. If people were clamoring to participate, joyce or I would find the motivation to read & post & keep things going. However, you're busy, we're busy, school is in session, people are traveling for work, the holiday season will soon be upon us, etc. So things here at clubbook are on hiatus until January.

If you'd like to chat about books between now and then, we'd love to see you at stackofbooks. Things there are pretty casual, but if you post something you will almost always get a couple of responses. You're welcome to tell us about what you're reading, ask for recommendations, announce a new release, or discuss anything about reading that catches your fancy!

I hope you all are well,
Monday, September 18th, 2006
12:12 pm
reminder - read Rebecca :)
Ho there, fellow readers!

I hope you all are well?

I picked up a copy of Rebecca yesterday, while visiting a friendly, locally owned, bookstore. Thought it might be a good idea to remind y'all that that's what we're reading this month. No date is set yet for discussion, so you have some flex time, but if you haven't already gotten a copy of the book it's a good time to remedy that!


ps - if I finish it quickly enough, I'm willing to lend my copy to someone, but it should also be available at your local library.

pps - joyce & I are aware that the discussion for Kafka on the Shore never got off the ground. Our fault -neither of us had finished reading the book. We're also aware that some of you really wanted to read that book but that the timing was bad due to whatever else was going on in your lives. One possibility J & I have discussed is making Kafka our book for October or November. Does that appeal to anyone?
Thursday, August 10th, 2006
10:02 pm
I seem to recall at least one person saying they had already finished Kafka on the Shore... anyone want to lead off the discussion?
Sunday, July 30th, 2006
12:17 pm
REMINDER - read Kafka on the Shore
Hey folks,

This is a pre-discussion nag, reminding you that we're aiming to discuss Kafka on the Shore in a week & a half. Read up!

(feeling guiltily hypocritical, 'cause I haven't started it yet because I'm in the middle of another book)
Tuesday, July 25th, 2006
10:19 pm
[admin] announcements
1. We're over here discussing The Tipping Point. If you've just finished the book, please, weigh in.

2. July's book was scheduled to be Kafka on the Shore. Seeing as how it's the end of July already, we're going to push Kafka back to August 9th or so, then take the rest of August off and do Rebecca at the end of September. August is normally busy for folks, especially for those of us returning to class or sending children to classes (or, in one case, both, and I'm not sure how she does it. :) ) After Rebecca, we can see what we want to read for the rest of the year and if people still want to keep playing.

I hope everyone is well.
Monday, July 10th, 2006
9:01 pm
The Tipping Point
When I read non-fiction, the thought that always goes through my egotistical head is "how does this apply to me?" At first I was put off by the book because I thought it was basically a motivational sales manual--a "how to" on selling stuff. But as I got further into it, I started getting interested in his theories a little more, and wondering where I've seen those rules come into play around me.

One thing that came to mind was a Peace March for Martin Luther King Day in our town. The march was, believe or not, started by a few small (Kindergarted through 3rd grade) kids in my daughter's elementary school last year. This handful of little kids created something that grew and grew until it was a march that included hundreds of people, guest speakers, singers, presentations by area schools, and a full reading of Dr. King's speech. In retrospect, I believe the "tipping point" in this case was circumstantial: there's an unsuccessful war going on, and people turned out for a peace march at a time when they really feel passionate about wanting more peace in the world. I won't bore you with how I went through and applied all of his rules to how this event became so big in just one year's planning, but here's my question (if it's not too nerdy):

If you do lend credence to his theories, do you see them at work anywhere around you? Could you somehow apply them to things in your own life?
7:48 pm
Does anyone care to start the discussion of The Tipping Point? If not, I'll get something up tonight or tomorrow morning, but my question is likely to be the boring "Do we agree with the premise of the book and what did we think of it?", so if someone has something better up their sleeve, please, go ahead. (For that matter, any month that plantgirl and I haven't gotten to posting something, if someone wants to lead off, feel free.)
Monday, June 26th, 2006
6:39 pm
[admin] is anybody out there?
Okey dokey then. Since I got zero response to my last post asking if people are ready to start discussing The Tipping Point, I'm bumping the discussion to next week. I'll be gone over the weekend, and Tuesday's a holiday (at least, for the Americans on the list), so we'll start on Wednesday, July 5th.

And to repeat myself from my last post...
Our last few books have had very limited discussion. With much gratitude to those of you who have participated, how can we make it more likely that the rest of you will join us?
Saturday, June 24th, 2006
4:36 pm
[admin] The Tipping Point

This month we're discussing The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, by Malcom Gladwell. The discussion is currently scheduled to start this coming Monday, the 26th. Does that date work for people, or would you like to postpone it a week?

Also, our last few discussions have been fairly sparsely attended. With much gratitude to those of you who have been participating, how can we make it more likely that the rest of you will join us?

Monday, June 5th, 2006
7:41 am
[discussion] Moon is a Harsh Mistress
Robert Heinlein has the reputation for being a giant, if not the giant, in science fiction. (And I, at least, have always been a little bit scared of him because of that.) The Powell's review for Moon says in part "Robert A. Heinlein was the most influential science fiction writer of his era, an influence so large that, as Samuel R. Delany notes, modern critics attempting to wrestle with that influence find themselves dealing with an object rather like the sky or an ocean. He won the Hugo Award for best novel four times, a record that still stands. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress was the last of these Hugo-winning novels, and it is widely considered his finest work." About the book, it states "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is one of the high points of modern science fiction, a novel bursting with politics, humanity, passion, innovative technical speculation, and a firm belief in the pursuit of human freedom."

Do we agree with this assessment of Heinlein and of Moon? What works about the novel, and what doesn't? Is it believable, and can we suspend our disbelief in order to participate in the novel? I'm currently also reading Stranger in a Strange Land, and having a bit of difficulty getting into the world of the novel; Heinlein, from the early 60s, offers one possible way for the world to turn out, and now, 45 years after the book was published, we know the world didn't turn out that way, and that's a distraction when I'm reading. Does Moon suffer the same issues?

(If someone else has other issues they want to discuss, please feel free to start a new post; I just wanted to get some discussion going.)
Thursday, June 1st, 2006
10:36 am
Hi all -

We're going to bump the discussion of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress to Monday, to give people a little more time over the weekend to finish it up (and posts like this tend to get lost over weekends, too, so I'm hoping starting Monday will prevent that.)

Just as a reminder, we're scheduled to discuss The Tipping Point starting on the 26th, and Kafka on the Shore next month.

your faithful mods,

joyce and plantgirl
Thursday, May 25th, 2006
11:36 pm
[admin] when to discuss The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
I cleverly set the start date for discussing The Moon is a Harsh Mistress for during a national holiday (at least, for those of us who live in the U.S.), and I'm assuming a great number of us are going to be Elsewhere on that day. When would people *actually* like to start discussing the book? Would next Thursday or Friday, (the 1st or 2nd), work?
Monday, May 8th, 2006
6:20 am
Taming of the Shrew
This is just a reminder that a discussion for Taming of the Shrew & 10 Things I Hate about You is going on here!

It's nice if people get a chance to reply to each other, as well as to the original post.

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006
5:30 pm
[admin] upcoming schedule
Here are some reminders...

This month we're reading The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, by Robert A. Heinlein. The discussion will start May 29.

In June we're reading The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, by Malcolm Gladwell. The discussion will start June 26.

In July we're reading Kafka on the Shore, by Haruki Murakami. No date has been set yet to start our discussion.

Sometime in the next month or so we get to decide what to read in August.

In September we're reading Rebecca, by Daphne Du Maurier. No date has been set yet for a discussion.

As always, dates may change based on the direction of the wind, the phase of the moon, and the general energy or laziness of club members and moderators. Also, this info is posted in our user info, in case you want to find it quickly.
4:09 pm
[discussion] 10 things vs. Taming of the Shrew
Ooops, I'm a bad book club moderator, because I totally forgot to start the discussion this Monday! Sorry about that. I'm used to being able to toss the ball to joyce if I'm too busy, but she's way busy until she's done moving & school's done for the term, so you're stuck with me for another month or three.

The questions I've been pondering aren't about the specifics of the two stories we just read/saw, but about the difference between plays & movies as vehicles for conveying a story. I've been thinking about this because Shakespeare is made to be seen & heard, not read, and that kept coming to mind while I was reading Taming of the Shrew. I found 10 Things more absorbing, but I kept wondering how I would compare them if I'd seen them both acted out, instead of reading one & watching the other?

A play has many more restrictions in how it can tell the story, but I think it also has some strengths. When I see a play I sometimes respond more strongly than to a movie, because I react more intensely to the real live human beings than I do to pictures on a screen. (I wonder if pheromones play a part in this?) I like the pomp of plays. But movies, perhaps because they are larger than life, and perhaps because they can be cut to show just the most essential moments, also can have a profound impact on me.

But this is a tangent to the two stories, and I'll get back on track. So tell me - how well did Taming translate into modern terms? What did you like best about Taming, and what did you like best about 10 Things? What, if anything, would you have changed if you were in charge of producing the modern version of Taming? Or would you produce a modern version?
Thursday, April 13th, 2006
11:56 am
[admin] Taming of the Shrew
Two things:

Normally when I read Shakespeare I get into "Shakespeare mode" and do pretty well with the vocabulary & rhythm, but when I started reading Taming of the Shrew I immediately bogged down. If I'm normally comfortable with Shakespeare & feeling a little swamped, I'm assuming that other people, particularly those of you who haven't read him before, might be having similar problems. This is an open invitation to discuss the book while we're still reading it.

If you have questions about any aspect of it -you're not used to reading plays, you don't know what something means or who someone is, your book has lousy translations, your brain doesn't seem to want to take in the differences in language, you don't understand what's happening in a scene- comment below & we'll muddle through it together, okay? (If you're feeling shy, you can email me: plantgirl at gmail dot com).

In any event, part of my stumbling was because Taming of the Shrew starts with a scene that I'd forgotten existed. The short form is that a lord decides to play a trick on a rude drunkard by attempting to make him think he (the drunkard) is a lord. As part of the trick, the drunkard watches a play be performed. That play-within-the-play contains the main plot, the one we're comparing to the movie. Since the set-up is irrelevant to the main plot, I had a hard time caring about any of it. Is it scandalous if I say one can skip that first section without losing anything we'll need for the discussion?

We haven't set a date to compare Taming of the Shrew & 10 Things I Hate about You. Does May 1st work?

If you have a version of the book that has translations in the side margins, please let me know which one it is? I adore my Complete Works, but it's big & heavy & having the explanations in footnotes is more disruptive than when they're tucked neatly at the end of the relevant line.
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